“I pledge to put on my running shoes and spend time outside each morning”. This is the first pledge of my 12-part monthly series for 2013. Why am I doing a monthly pledge? Read all about it here.
Living less than a block away from the ocean, I decided it was time to take advantage of the beautiful seawall we have in the Westend. My first pledge is geared towards a morning jog, but like I mentioned before, any pressure for a certain outcome will defeat the purpose of this activity. Getting myself onto the seawall wearing running shoes next to all the other active Vancouverites basically guarantees that I’m going to do some form of physical activity. But eliminating the pressure of making a certain quota for the day makes me feel so much better when I complete a 30 minute run that I didn’t have to do. If I end up jogging, it’s a total bonus! But if I end up going for a walk or simply sitting on the beach for half an hour, that’s just as well. Either way, all I need to do is wake up, put on my running shoes, and spend some time outside.
I had no idea how great this would turn out when I was deciding on my first pledge. It only took a couple mornings to get me hooked. I’ve always been a bit of a morning person, but never to the point where I’m excited enough to jump out of bed in the morning. I think the addition of taking a photo of my shoes each morning made me feel more committed to the activity, but that’s not to take away from the benefits I received from the activity itself. Fresh ocean air in the morning is something special!
Getting my blood flowing, allowing myself some time to think, and breathing fresh air basically guaranteed a good day ahead. Spending half an hour outside in the morning increased my ability to mentally focus and maintain positivity throughout the entire day. There were a few days I ran really hard and there was a day or two when I simply people watched. What I found worked the best for me was a simple 15-20 minute jog, just enough to get my heart rate up, but not enough that I had to eat something and shower the second I got home. I’ve become more thankful for days when the sun is shining through my window when I wake up. There were many days that I ran in the rain, and even a day in the snow! But there were so many mornings that I was lucky enough to run in the sun. This is definitely a maintainable activity that I plan to keep.
One of my favourite moments: A very frosty January morning. An elderly lady bundled head to toe walking her miniature dog looks at me as we pass each other on the seawall and surprises me with a genuine grin while whispering the words ‘lovely day’. I carried her smile with me for the rest of the afternoon!
I can’t believe we’re already a month into 2013. I hope everyone is having a great start to the year.
Thanks for reading!